Friday, August 24, 2012
When Do You Start Reading Up?
That's my kid, Madi. She's in sixth grade now. I'm pretty sure she's reading Rick Riordan there. She's been going strong on MG books for a while now, probably since ... well, at least second grade. Sometimes it's hard to remember, life moves so fast. But anyway, I recently noticed that she was reading Eighth Grade Bites (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 1), by Heather Brewer. Her sister read it years ago, but I think she was in eighth grade at the time.
Now, I'm not the kind of dad who controls what his kids read. My opinion is that if a kid has a curiosity about a certain book, there is good reason they might be interested in it. Now, if she were wanting to read Lolita or Mein Kampf, I might be a little concerned, but in this instance, with her wanting to read what my understanding is a YA novel that is not too particularly dark or edgy, I can simply ask her sister, "do you think this is appropriate for her?" If her sister hadn't read it, I would probably just read it myself.
But this post isn't really about what we should allow our kids to read, I more so wanted to pose a question to our readers: when did you start reading up?
Personally, The Hobbit and then The Lord of the Rings were the first two (four) books I read, so while The Hobbit is somewhat a children's book, LOTR certainly is not, so I guess I started reading up right away. I did not get into the likes of Roald Dahl, Gary Paulsen, or Jack London until fifth or sixth grade. Then in middle school, I moved back to adult fantasy, and started reading spy and espionage books like Robert Ludlum and John Le Carre.
So what about you all? Were you aware of literary age distinctions when you were younger? Did you ever read above or below your supposed level by choice? Did you ever read adult novels as a kid? If so, what did your parents think of it? Did they know?